Let my Words be Sweat

Forgive me ere I speak
In the climax of this aged day
Where words, in pitchfork
And promenade,
Became our toil under the sun
Gaunt spines, elbows, wrists
Unable to carve our food from earth
Feed on words in disproportionate ratio
Fallow work undone as
Our pastors become our politicians
Our politicians become our soft warriors
And only standing soldiers

Forgive me as I speak
Seeking comfort in the din
Sermons, news, campaigns:
Prattle meant to prod.
Ages it has been while we’ve cloned
Organizations off Your organism
Tight control groups
Limiting variables
So we may grow in a petri dish
The purest sample
But the bystander effect
Corrupts it all

Forgive me all that I have said
These years of arrogance and mimicry
If any words were useful
Yours may they ever be
If You will have them-
Oh, this noisy clanging!
We have been well-conditioned
For the culture we have made
Our comfortable experiments
Outlived their isolated caves
Our Frankensteinian clones
Rage against the day

And even now,
They are still our precious babies
To the grave.

Praise Ye the Lord

This brief twirl around the years
Spinning in the orbit
Past disintegrating fears
Dancing on a floor lit
By stars completed and only waking

Lord of the Dance,
Is a precious gift You’ve given. 

The barefoot struggles
Running against the tide
Piecing together immense puzzles
Breathing, taking in stride
The intensity and the mundane

Lord of the Battles,
Your presence redeems each step. 

The crackle and popping
Of the flickers of hope untamed
Climbing without stopping
Into a fierce and ferocious flame
Illuminating the darkness with truth

Lord of Innumerable Lights
Shine on eternally.

Life by Estimation

When the old one became mine
Desperately, I tried
To imagine some good end.
But the disrepair I found there
Was the cloudy mirror
I’ve been trapped in.

I prayed out to You
Like a shout at the moon
From some guttural place of neglect
Where hope and despair
Wrestle in silent air
For a footing of respect

And I became the old one quickly,
Or it became me
My words peeled like lead paint.
I sat barren in my own decay
In the impotence of all I could say
Signifying nothing, nothing to gain

The old one went for a song I guess,
And I… I went for even less
Silenced by my own faithless frustration,
The upsurge of resigned sympathy
For the useless and broken in we,
Propped up in tangible manifestation.

Four years of struggle and dismay
Pushing forward and pushing away
Almost to the day, but You guarded we.
I can only let go
If You say so
This is hard, but sweet

As You’re in charge of all.
I asked You then on thin straws
Who would choose to build old into new?
I understand now, it’s even beyond design
And potential- value is assigned
By a world of factors outside my view:

Even in dilapidation and distress.
So I untwist my tongue to confess
If a word written, or dropping from my tongue,
Can be appraised by You as worthy,
Then I will bring an offering,
Against the beat a contrary drum.

Meager old one am I, but if Your tenderness
Surveys the rubble and says “Value Is”
Then work on my old bones
Take me under tool and hand
Make me what You say I am,
In the fury and finality You atone

As strong as death, beyond the grave,
I cannot see the value in me, save
The hope You appraise broken old things
By a system I cannot see, yet gives
Ability, significance- a chance to live

For You

To the broken-down we.

The Call of Fife

The rules are set.
How I longed for you to come to me
Not by some impassioned bedroom trellis
In blooming tongue and brazenry
By indifferent moons
But boots in tromp, and mud, and stain
Shoulders casting shadows, squared
Unaware the foe that feigns mundane
Deep I slept, alone at night
The warmth of my own purity
Radiating into hope, cradling and caressing
The distant drums of maturity
A thousand giggles are the opening bid,
The downpayment into a union rich
A zig to zag, a bob to weave,
The back and forth of each new stitch
Into a tapestry of stalwart companionship
Thriving in the daily hours
Kissed by passion, defended by honor,
Unflinching amid the darker powers
Raging to sink their teeth
In tall and sunbathed prey
These powers drink, in crimson teeth
Drunk, they sing of who to slay
By starless night to creep and scratch
But day exposes cravings dark
In many revolutions around the sun
Wherever integrity has lent its spark.
Who will lace their boots for we
The ones who cradle and caress?
Who will stand against the night,
To work, to will, and to confess?

Foolish, here, to tell my lies
Some fervent nights I found no sleep,
But what the day cannot, in manhood, earn,
The boyish nights will never keep.

Way of Life

Faint, I hear on winds of spring,
As little bells whose giggles ring,
Recollections gray of our beginnings
Chiming through to this new morning

And You are new
My Ancient of Days.

How dark those bitter nights
Must have been, dark sights
Broken, jagged childhood delights
Snarling in crooked-toothed fright

And I begged You for death,
O Giver of Life.

How those moments undone
Dissolved one by one
Like snow exposed to a gentle sun
As You held me in a garden

Sweating in fervor
For my redemption.

I glimpsed You lifting
Gold from death’s ashen rift
I waited, in sorrow adrift,
For You to sift

The precious from the worthless,
As You continually do.

I never dreamed this well.
You established me:
Your daughter, a mother, a wife.
I begged for the release of death,
But You gave instead the embrace of life

Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Special Providence

Let today ever be the day
I seek Your face
My sins aplenty remain
Hidden in Your mysterious grace
I am washed clean,
Seated well at the table

In an unearned place.

Let today ever be the day
I walk the winding narrows
Into all the world
Bowing before no Pharoahs,
But kneeling for the least of these.
And if I pass from life to life,

Bear me up with the sparrows.

Until We Meet Again

Veiled in white
Like an expensive bride,
Unduly attractive,
Who brings a man to ruin

In past tense
Tonight I spoke your name
Wrapping recollections
Around the toxic body
Of our acquaintances

Lying awake
In restless absence
Scrapping for a fight
To make-up our differences
Rolling you in my fingers

Inhaling your venom
Absorbing the rendition
Of your assertions
The contrast of the pure,
And the burning, and the ash;

The multicolored tapestry
Of who I am now,
Where I came from,
And who I used to be,
Or be worth.

Burning in my lungs
Like a fuse.

To the Third Pedigree

I’ve seen a certain hubris
An idolatry of valuation,
The sacred kept on a short chain
Of tradition and education
Who, upon passing an orphan
In oversized church attire,
Pats the beggarly head
With stature rising ever higher,
Dismisses the ruffian with a kind word
And the double-edged demand
(The child is easily banished,
As he is citizen to no land.)

This walking hubris turns
Fingers to the golden chain,
Pleased with the service he renders
To the sons who may remain
He condescends and reiterates,
Proud of his behavior,
But at the true center of his sanctuary
You will not find a Savior.

Surprise Snow

I’ve read the freshly fallen snow
Frosts the world as a wedding cake,
Smooth and crisp, sweet to know 
The world in pure and pristine flake
Yet my children don their war attire 
And carve out channels fit to pass
They chop and dig, stacking ever higher
All the snow they may amass
With buckets leftover from sandy days
They shape their castle walls
Pouring their work into their play
Grappling and clambering, their falls
Are buried in the foundation
Of the spectacles they build
The feats of effort and imagination
A marriage of fantasy and will.

If I should have to choose between
Untouched snow or their forged civilizations,
I’m forever grateful I have seen
All their passing, perfect creations-

Their evanescent ecosystems
Of icy delights.

All Aboard

My life has crossed a vast terrain,
A train through many foreign stations
And very little still remains
From the dawn of my creation
That world has aged and passed away
While the train increased in speed 
I have more now than I ever hoped, 
But remember my basic needs
When my journey began in lilting motions
As I waited for it to end
And all I had, all that stays the same,
Was some paper and a pen,

And my Eternal Friend.